Bright Before Us

( 4 )

Overview


Facing the prospect of fatherhood, disillusioned by his fledgling teaching career, and mourning the loss of a fraught former relationship, 25-year-old Francis Mason is a prisoner of his past mistakes. But when his second-grade class discovers a dead body during a field trip to a San Francisco beach, Francis spirals into unbearable grief and all-consuming paranoia. As his behavior grows increasingly erratic, and tensions arise with the school principal and the parents of his students, he faces the familiar urge ...
See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (55) from $1.99   
  • New (15) from $1.99   
  • Used (40) from $1.99   
Bright Before Us

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.49
BN.com price
(Save 25%)$14.00 List Price

Overview


Facing the prospect of fatherhood, disillusioned by his fledgling teaching career, and mourning the loss of a fraught former relationship, 25-year-old Francis Mason is a prisoner of his past mistakes. But when his second-grade class discovers a dead body during a field trip to a San Francisco beach, Francis spirals into unbearable grief and all-consuming paranoia. As his behavior grows increasingly erratic, and tensions arise with the school principal and the parents of his students, he faces the familiar urge to flee — a choice that forces him to confront the character weaknesses that have shattered his life again and again — and to accept the wrenching truth about the past he’s never been able to move beyond.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Arnold-Ratliff's impressive debut explores an everyman's descent into madness, rendering his ungluing with a palette heavy in paranoia and disillusionment. Narrator Francis Mason, a young teacher in San Francisco whose second-grade class discovers a body while on a field trip to the beach, is hung up on memories of a whirlwind romance with his childhood soul mate, Nora, that followed her parents' death in a car accident. Meanwhile, his unhappiness in his marriage grows in intensity from neglecting and harboring a quiet disdain for his pregnant wife to erratic behavior and verbal abuse. Meanwhile, there's an increasingly amplified dissonance between what is (possibly) real and (possibly) imagined, particularly in relation to what happened at the beach, and soon paranoia sets in as Francis begins to believe his students' parents and the police are out to get him, despite indications that he's well liked. Arnold-Ratliff has a knack for juxtaposing familiar imagery (a classroom poster of Einstein with his tongue out) with startling description ("You looked like a Halloween costume of yourself, like your face was on crooked"), and despite the occasional forays into cloying breathlessness, Francis proves to be a formidable narrator, tough to crack and a morbid pleasure to observe. (May)
From the Publisher

“Arnold-Ratliff has a knack for juxtaposing familiar imagery with startling description . . . Francis proves to be a formidable narrator, tough to crack and a morbid pleasure to observe.”
Publishers Weekly

"[Katie Arnold-Ratliff's] undeniably gorgeous prose and ability to launch troubled characters into impossible, tumultuous situations mark her as a writer to watch."
Booklist

"Bright Before Us (Tin House)—an ambitious debut novel from O assistant editor Katie Arnold-Ratliff—is a nihilistic road trip of a book, full of lyrical, dreamlike prose. It's also a story that reminds us that love, however deeply felt, is not necessarily pretty or kind."
O, The Oprah Magazine

“Standout debut novel.”
The Oregonian

“With lilting description and deft handling of often-strange scenes, Arnold-Ratliff guides the reader over new, sometimes bloodied, ground on the ancient battlefield of love and marriage.”
ForeWord Reviews

“An assured piece of work . . . There’s plenty to admire about Bright Before Us. The story shows us how the past has the power to erode the present, especially when love is concerned. The author patiently leads Francis—and us—through the heartbreaking, very human work of becoming an adult and letting someone go.”
—The Rumpus

"A knockout writer, every page littered with sensation-rich imagery."
The Austin Chronicle

“You’ll no doubt marvel at [Francis’] character and the author’s ability to capture his ambivalence and ennui.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Arnold-Ratliff's turned out one hell of a debut."
Portland Mercury

"An unmoored man who yearns for a woman he failed, while failing another (his wife), is still able to claim he just wants 'the lazy momentum of a married evening.' This duality is central to the author's creation of the disequilibrium she sustains throughout Bright Before Us. The chilly and unforgiving beauty of the San Francisco Bay Area is a perfect fit for this eerie, impeccably told story."
—Amy Hempel, author of The Dog of the Marriage

"In Bright Before Us, Katie Arnold-Ratliff writes sentences that have the luminous candor of X-rays, laser-traceries of the human heart. Young Francis is a fascinating and exquisitely drawn character, and the urgency of his story left me breathless."
—Karen Russell, author of St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves and Swamplandia!

"In Katie Arnold-Ratliff's relentless debut, the ragged ends of a relationship are set on fire with intense and inventive language, and thrown against a darkened sky."
—Ed Park, author of Personal Days

"What a rare book! Bright Before Us is an unrequited love story, but it's also a meditation about the flash decisions we make, or fail to make, and the devastating way they undo us. A remarkable and compassionate debut."
—Robin Romm, author of The Mercy Papers

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781935639077
  • Publisher: Tin House Books
  • Publication date: 5/10/2011
  • Series: A Tin House New Voice
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 21, 2011

    Kritters Ramblings

    A short and sweet review - I wasn't a fan. A book that switched between two different voices - the first being the character being in the present and living, while the other he is talking to someone from his past and reminding them of things from their past. I had to read the first four chapters twice to get it.

    I kept reading because I thought it could get better and I just couldn't figure out whether I just didn't like it or if I really didn't like it. After every page was read and I sat for twenty-four hours to stew on it, I have to say I didn't hate it, but I am not sure I could pass it along to my friends.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2011

    I can't wait!

    I hear great things about this author - I wish May 1st wasn't so far away!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)